AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE CHANCELLOR, HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS, ALHAJI (DR) MUHAMMADU ABALI IBN MUHAMMADU IDRISS CON, THE EMIR OF FIKA AND CHAIRMAN, YOBE STATE COUNCIL OF CHIEFS AT THE 5TH CONVOCATION CEREMONY OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA ON SATURDAY, 13TH NOVEMBER, 2021
Your Excellency, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR,
Your Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello;
Your Excellencies, Executive Governors present or Representatives;
Honourable Ministers present or Representatives;
Your Royal Highnesses;
Honourable Members of the House of Assembly or Representatives;
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Senator Chris Adighije;
Members of the University Governing Council;
Members of the University Senate;
Management, Staff and Students of Federal University Lokoja;
Parents and Guardians present;
Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with a deep sense of reverence that we welcome you all on behalf of the University Management, Staff and Students to another mile stone in the annals of the university, the 5th Convocation Ceremony taking place, today, Saturday, 13th November, 2021. We humbly welcome our Visitor, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. Your Excellency, the University would continue to count on your support in its efforts to move the University to greater heights.
We salute the Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu and the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed who have always shown us the way forward. We appreciate the supervisory and regulatory roles of the Federal Ministry of Education and National Universities Commission in ensuring the maintenance of quality and standard that culminated in the accreditation of all our programmes in the past and look forward to achieving another feat as we prepare some of our programmes for re-accreditation and resource verification very soon.
We acknowledge the presence of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Executive Governors here present, National Assembly Members in our midst, the Speaker and Honourable Members of Kogi State House of Assembly, and all our Distinguished Invited Guests. We appreciate your presence in Felele as we mark the occasion of our fifth Convocation Ceremony.
I am glad, as the Chancellor and the titular head of Federal University Lokoja to welcome all of you who have come to join us to celebrate with Parents/Guardians, Friends of the University, Celebrants, the University Council, Senate, Management and Staff. I must say that, I am overwhelmed with joy to see our students graduate and celebrate in this manner. This is the manifestation of Allah’s will in our lives and so, we thank Him for making this day a reality. It is indeed, a moment of joy for all of us. We will continue to do our best as an institution to make Federal University Lokoja the most preferred choice of universities in Nigeria. We are determined to ensure uninterrupted academic activities so that our students will not over stay their tenancy on our campus. We equally remain committed to provide physical and academic support for the university. Our decision to expand programmes in Faculties of Arts, Education, Management Sciences, Sciences, Social Sciences and establishment of College of Health Sciences and Faculty of Engineering including Institutes of Education and Governance and Development is a testament of our avowed commitment to expanding the frontiers of knowledge in Federal University Lokoja. These programmes are structured to be flexible, dynamic, innovative and need-based.
We are aware that finance is a major determinant in accomplishing our set goals, I am optimistic that God in His infinite mercy will provide the wherewithal to realize these set goals. We equally appeal to our Visitor, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to come to our aid in this direction. I wish to appeal to our host, His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello to assist the university in securing the Certificate of Occupancy of the 1,250 hectres of land giving to us by the state government. As we speak, our land is being encroached daily by the local communities and we have myriad of litigations against us by these communities over ownership of the land of the university. Your Excellency sir, there are a lot of opportunities of funding and provision of infrastructure by Federal Government Agencies that Federal University Lokoja cannot access because of lack of Certificate of Occupancy. Developments at the Felele Campus (Permanent Site) cannot be effective without adequate resources. We are again, using this opportunity to make passionate appeals to stakeholders and other philanthropic individuals and organizations for financial support to aid the University to develop structures/facilities at the Felele Campus (Permanent Site) in order to make the Campus more habitable and conducive for teaching, learning and research.
The Visitor sir, this university is fast growing. The number of graduates of this university from inception has grown astronomically from 285 in 2017 to 784 in 2020. The subscription rate is high because teaching and research have being steady and uninterrupted especially with local strike. We appreciate the Executive Secretary of NUC and the Registrar of JAMB for the support and guidance to see that the university grows to a world standard. I want to further appeal to my two brothers, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed and Prof. Is haq Oloyede to continue as usual to assist Federal University Lokoja till it attains world class. This university is your baby because I am the Father.
We commend the Management and Staff of the University who despite the challenges of Covid-19 and National ASUU industrial action, have worked extra hard to ensure that the 5th Convocation Ceremony becomes a reality; we thank you all for your commitment. We appreciate the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi, who tirelessly supervised the Convocation Planning Committee in order for it to be successful. May Allah reward you all for your good deeds.
To my graduating set of 2020, I urge you to always have the fear of God in all that you pursue and remain good ambassadors of your alma mater. By God’s grace you will succeed in life. The sky is your limit (ad astra). Make the best use of any opportunity at your disposal and never despise a humble beginning. A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a step, you have every reason to be thankful to the almighty God for making you part of today’s ceremony despite the several challenges including COVID-19. Be law abiding and cultured citizens especially as you embark on the mandatory one year National Youth Service.
Our Esteemed Invited Guests, Mr. President, His Excellency, Executive Governor of Kogi State, let me reiterate that we are indeed honoured to have you in our midst and to celebrate with us on the occasion of our Fifth Convocation Ceremony. May the Almighty Allah honour all of you and continue to shower His mercy and bounties upon you as you travel back to your various destinations.
Thank you and God bless you all.